The Galaxy Note series has always been Samsung's chance to try new stuff before bringing it to the flagship Galaxy S line, and there might be a lot of new stuff in this year's Note. OnLeaks claims to have gotten his hands on leaked CAD files for the Galaxy Note 6 (or whatever they call the nest one), and he used them to create some 3D renders. The device has a few interesting things going on, including Samsung's first Type-C port on the bottom. Read More
After hitting the beta channel back in April, Chrome version 51 has just been pushed to Stable with a new API that allows sites to interact with the browser's credential manager and some under-the-hood changes that should improve the scrolling experience and power consumption on both mobile and desktop. It also entirely removes the option to have Chrome tabs show up in the recent apps view on Android, which was introduced in Lollipop.
The Credential Management API is a new tool proposed by the W3C group which aims to make it easier and more streamlined to sign in to sites and webpages. Read More
The Huawei Nexus 6P is one of the best smartphones you can buy today. It packs a lot of punch and some high-end specs for a price that isn't as extravagant as the new flagships from Samsung, LG, Sony, or HTC. It's also a little more future-proof than them, with an Android N preview already available and the certainty of getting the N and O updates as soon as they are released by Google. Read More
There is no shortage of choice when you start thinking about following your favorite sports and teams on your phone. Google already has a pretty sweet set of cards in Google Now for a couple of sports, but there's also a lot of benefit in having a dedicated app that has specialized news and commentary, live scores, analysis, and more. ESPN is one of the most popular apps in that category — after all, that's the network's expertise and it's transmitted through the app.
With version 5.0, ESPN's app is getting a couple of major improvements that make it even more relevant. Read More
Chainfire's FlashFire is a very handy tool for anyone who likes to flash their phone. Provided the device is rooted, it enables the flashing of OTA files, ZIPs, and full firmware packages, all without needing a custom recovery. Previously, the app had been available in Google Play's beta program, but as of version 0.50, it is now open to all. Read More
Google is constantly testing new features and approaches to getting things done on Android. For example, the new Nearby tab that some users have noticed when doing searches from the home screen search widget. We've gotten a few tips about it, but it seems to be in the early stages of testing. Read More
Google Maps is now accepting beta testers through the Play Store, and it's probably no coincidence that there's already an update to v9.27 to go along with the news. The latest version doesn't appear to have any mind-blowing features, but it's not without a few changes to be found on the screen and buried in the apk. There are new notification settings, a new splash screen for Android Wear, and a few hints from a teardown. We're still looking around for more, so let us know if you stumble across any cool changes.
Unofficial Changelog: (stuff we found)
- New Notification Settings: "Show pending contributions notification" and "Driving notifications"
- Splash screen on Android Wear
More Notification Settings
Just a few days ago I commented on how the Notifications screen had grown quite a bit over the last few months, and with the brand new beta, two more settings join the list. Read More
Around two years ago, we published an article saying that despite the claimed existence of a single, 15-minute app refund windows (now 2 hours), Google Play actually had multiple refund windows available to customers that were automated up to around 48 hours after the purchase of an app. Specifically, from a period of 15 minutes (again, now 2 hours) to up to 48 hours after an app or game was purchased, simply submitting a refund request would generally result in a refund being issued automatically, without regard to reason.
At the time, we actually confirmed some of this with Google's PR, though they declined to state that the 48-hour refund windows was fully automated, likely to discourage abuse of the system. Read More
Samsung is whipping its accessory offerings into shape today with two new fitness-oriented products. The Gear Fit2 is about what you'd expect, a followup to the original Gear Fit smart sports band. The Gear IconX is something new from Samsung. It's a pair of completely wireless earbuds that include some standalone fitness tracking features. If this sounds familiar, that's because both products leaked in April. Read More
Sundar Pichai made a series of statements at recode's Code Conference yesterday that seem to have the internet aflutter. Pichai claimed that Google would be adding more software features to future Nexus devices, specifically: "You’ll see us hopefully add more features on top of Android on Nexus phones... There’s a lot of software innovation to be had."
Some have taken this to mean that "stock Android" on Nexus phones is no more. That Google will begin to differentiate just like its partners, with proprietary features and software, and that this marks a move away from a "purer" interpretation of Android. This makes sense until you actually think about it, because Nexus phones haven't run "stock" Android in years, and it's time for us to have a conversation about what that word even means, let alone the idea that Google's interpretation of Android is somehow "purer."
For starters, all of the following applications that ship on Nexus phones today are closed-source. Read More